5 Steps to Take Before Starting an Exercise ProgramApril 13, 2015
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Have you always wished you could be one of those people who can run for miles – but you can’t get down the block without feeling winded? Or perhaps you already run casually, but you want to train for a competitive event. Whatever your reason, it can be harder than you think to simply “learn how to run”. Otherwise, almost everyone would be a runner!
But if you approach running in the same way that you might approach learning any other new skill, you may find that you’re much more successful. What this means is that you have to find a method of training that works for you. We don’t all learn math the same way, and we don’t all learn to run the same way, either! Review the following methods of training, and choose one that seems to fit your learning style.
Run with a buddy. If you’re socially motivated, this method might work for you. Ask a friend to train with you. It’s hard to ignore the motivation of a friend on your porch, holding you accountable for a running date! But avoid choosing a friend who is so much more advanced in fitness that you will feel discouraged. This person should be someone with whom you feel comfortable.
The high-tech method. Smart phone addicts take note: There are a variety of running apps on the market. As with any other product, some will suit your needs and personality better than others. Experiment with a few different apps to find the one best suited for you. Some will focus on very technical training methods, asking you to run for a certain number of miles or minutes. Others, like the popular “Zombies!Run!” app, will focus on motivation through keeping you entertainined.
The gradual build-up. You can combine this method with another training idea, if you wish. Warm up by walking, then jog until you feel comfortably winded, and then switch back to walking for a few minutes. Aim to spend longer and longer periods running each day. Gradually you will find yourself able to run a few miles at a time.
Join a club. Look for running groups in your area, either online or by checking bulletin boards in local gyms, and join one. Structured meetings will keep you accountable to your goals, and the other members will encourage you by sharing their own progress. Don’t feel intimidated by more adept runners in the group; you’ll be there someday!
Hire a coach. If you would rather train with a professional, consider hiring a running coach. It isn’t cheap, but this program will keep you accountable to your goals. Plus, you can be assured that you are receiving high-quality training that helps you to build upon your current level of fitness.
As always, consult with your weight loss physician before starting any exercise program. This will help you to rule out any underlying health conditions which could make exercise dangerous for you, and you can receive advice on the proper nutrition for an active lifestyle.